EAST JACKSON’S offense had its struggles in a 59-31 Tuesday night loss to Oconee County but coach Katie David said the team’s defense didn’t do it many favors.
The Lady Eagles surrendered 39 first-half points in the setback.
“Yeah, you can say all day that we didn’t score enough points, but, I mean, the bottom line is that we’re giving up too many points,” David said.
Oconee County jumped on East Jackson (1-4) with three three-pointers in the first quarter and then went on a 21-6 run in the second quarter to take a 39-16 lead at halftime. The scenery never changed for the Lady Eagles in the second half.
Taylor Patrick led the Lady Eagles with 10 points, while Madison Wuertley added seven.
David said her team must bring more energy to the floor than it brought Tuesday night, noting that the Lady Warriors were allowed “way too many easy baskets.”
The coach said the team now “has to do some soul searching” as it gets set to open subregion play Friday against Hart County.
“I’m excited about it,” David said of the upcoming game. “I think we can compete with them. But, right now, we may play some people even younger than we expected purely based on how hard we’re playing.”
East Jackson had just halted a three-game losing streak by beating Commerce, 47-21, Saturday to snap a three-game losing streak. The 21 points were by far the lowest total East Jackson has allowed so far. The Lady Eagles were able to force the Lady Tigers into 33 turnovers and feast off those mistakes.
“We pressed a lot and were able to create a lot of high percentage shots,” Lady Eagle coach Katie David said.
East Jackson point guard Kelsey Palette led the team 13 points.
“She’s contributing everywhere right now,” David said.
Madison Mealor and Hydeia Rucker added eight points each. Taylor Patrick finished with seven.
East Jackson broke the game open in the second quarter, outscoring the Lady Tigers 14-3 to take a 22-5 edge into intermission. East Jackson led 33-11 after three quarters. The large advantage allowed David to play her entire bench.
The win helped East Jackson move on from a turnover-filled 53-34 loss to Banks County 24 hours earlier. In that game, East Jackson struggled against the Lady Leopard’s half pressure and trailed 32-17 at the half.
“I just felt like they had our number at every position … Everybody on their team is a threat,” David said.
The third quarter didn’t play out any better for East Jackson as Banks County picked up more turnovers and made the Lady Eagles pay with three-pointers in transition to build a 51-21 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
“What we can take from that game is that we need to work on handling the ball,” David said.
Palette and Mealor each scored 10 points to lead East Jackson.